Suspect arrested in June arson in Franklinton
A suspect has been arrested for a June arson that was committed in retaliation for an earlier homicide.
On June 3 the Franklinton Police Department responded to an aggravated arson at a residence on Bene Street. On arrival the officers located a fire which was quickly extinguished. Officers were able to obtain video surveillance from the residence which provided images of two people pouring an accelerant and lighting a fire. The video was uploaded to the Franklinton Police Department’s social media pages and with the public's assistance, both individuals were identified. One of the suspected arsonists was determined to be a 16-year-old juvenile and the other suspected arsonist was determined to be an adult, identified as Mardeontae J. Lee, age 22, of Franklinton. The juvenile's identity is not being released due to his age.
On june 20 officers located the juvenile in Franklinton. He was interviewed by investigators and he subsequently confessed to his involvement in the crime. Detectives were unable to locate Lee and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On Monday of this week, detectives from the Franklinton Police Department located Lee at his residence where he was arrested without incident. Lee was charged with 3 counts of attempted first degree murder, 1 count aggravated arson, 1 count contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and 1 count simple possession of marijuana. The investigation continues.The attempted arson is believed to be in retaliation for an earlier homicide which occurred on June 1. Paul Robinson was arrested for that homicide.
Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown said he would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of his investigators for their relentless pursuit of those responsible. Chief Brown went on to thank the community for assistance in identifying both suspects.
“When the community and law enforcement work together, it makes our town safer for everyone,” Brown said.